Faizan Uddin, J.
1. By this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, the petitioner seeks the quashing of the order dated 16-12-1981 (Annexure 'D') passed by the State Transport Appellate Tribunal. Gwalior (hereinafter referred to as 'the Tribunal') cancelling the national permit granted to the petitioner by the Regional Transport Authority, Sagar.
2. The facts giving rise to this petition are that by a letler dated 28-1-1977 of the Deputy Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh (Home Department), a quota of 7 public carrier national permits was allotted to Sagar region. Consequently, applications were invited by a notification dated 15-2-1977. After receipt of the applications, extracts thereof were published in the M. P. Rajpatra dated 6-5-1977 inviting objections, but no objections were received. The Government of India had issued guidelines for grant of national permits according tc which, 50% of the national permits were to be given to persons holding inter-statal permits, 25% to operators holding statal or regional permits, 10% were to be reserved for ex-army personnel and 15% of permits were to be reserved for new entrepreneurs including drivers holding heavy motor vehicle licence. On the mutual and unanimous agreement between the various applicants, out of the quota of 7 public carrier national permits, 3 were reserved for inter-statal permit-holders, 2 for statal or regional permit-holders, one for ex-army personnnel and one for new entrant. The Regional Transport Authority adopted the marking sys-tem formula based on model of the vehicle, experience and coverage. In that light, the Regional Transport Authority considered the respective merits of the various applicants who had applied for grant of national permits and by his order dated 4-10-1977 (Annexure C) granted two permits in the category of statal or regional operators--one to the petitioner Lakhmichand and another to one Nirbhaya Singh Rathor (who is not a party to this petition) on the basis of highest marks obtained by each one of them. Other applications, including the application of respondent No. 3 Devhans Chaurasia, were rejected as they received less marks than the aforesaid two applicants. Permits to some other applicants in other categories vere also granted by the Regional Transport Authority with which we are not concerned in this petition. In appeal, the Tribunal after about 4 years, set aside the order of the Regional Transport Authority daled 4-10-77 (Annexure C) in so far as it related to the grant of permit to the petitioner and granted Ihe permit to respondent No. 3 Devhans Chaurasia against which the petitioner has filed this petition.
3. It was not disputed before us that the Regional Transport Authority allotted marks to the applicants who had applied for the grant of public carrier national permits on the basis of model of the vehicle, number of permits coverage, giving first importance to the experience and second to the condition of vehicle. Marks were deducted for the adverse record perlaining to 2 years prior to the date of arguments before the Regional Transport Authority.
4. According to the marking system formula adopted by the Regional Transport Authority, the petitioner was given 200 marks for offering a latest model vehicle, 30 marks for seniority. 30 marks for lemporary permits and 728 marks for operation. But after deducting the marks for major and minor offences, 598 marks were left to the credit of the petitioner. Similarly, 200 marks were also given to respondent No. 3 Devhans Chaurasia for offering a latest model vehicle, 10 marks for seniority, 8 marks for a number of temporary permits, 182 marks for operation and 10 marks for permits to different States. Thus, in all 402 marks were allotted to respondent No. 3 as there was no deduction on account of any adverse record against him.
5. While appreciating the material on record, the Tribunal made the following observations :
'In the column of motor vehicle number, the office of the R.T.A. has concealed the fact that the applicant had a 1969 model vehicle which was mentioned in the application but has instead mentioned the offer of a latest model vehicle and allotted 200 marks to him for latest model vehicle which is nothing but a device to make an applicant eligible for grant of a permit who was not eligible for such a grant according to the rules. Undisputedly, the vehicle possessed and owned by the respondent No. 2 Lakhmichand at the time of the grant of the permit was over four years old, till the permit has been granted to him considering the offer made by him and ignoring Ihe fact that he was not eligible for grant of a permit according to rules. The grant made to respondent No. 2 is, therefore, illegal being in contravention of the rules framed for grant of national permits.'
6. On perusal of the record, we find that the aforesaid observations and the conclusions recorded by the Tribunal are wholly misconceived and unwarranted being based on misreading of the record It is true that Sub-rule (1) of Rule 6 of the Motor Vehicles (Nalional Permits) Rules, 1975, provided that a national permit shall not be granted in respect of a motor vehicle which is more than four years old on the date of initial grant of the permit. But in the instant case, the petitioner had not offered a vehicle which was more than 4 years old on the date when the Regional Transport Authority granted the national permit to the petitioner. A perusal of the petitioner's application submitted for grant of the national permit clearly goes to show that all that the petitioner had mentioned was that he was in possession of a 1969 model vehicle for which he holds the permit and was plying and that he had offered to ply a vehicle of the latest model on the grant of the national permit. In these circumstances, it could not be said that the Regional Transport Authority had committed any error in allotting the petitioner marks for the offer of a new vehicle. Thus, in making the aforesaid observations, the Tribunal was mainly influenced by a wrong and non-existent fact. From the above facts, it is apparently clear that the Tribunal took a wrong view of the matter and made an erroneous approach to the facts of the case on record and came to a wrong conclusion that the marks for new model vehicle were wrongly allotted to the petitioner on concealment of ceri ain facts regarding the model of vehicle offered by the petitioner.
7. The learned counsel for respondent No. 3, relying on a D. B. decision of this Court in Gyansingh v. The State Trans-port Appellate Authority, Misc. Petn. No. 530 of 1964, D/- 30-6-1965, tried to support the findings recorded by the Tribunal. In that decision, it was observed that possession of a latest model vehicle, which is proposed to be utilised for providing transport facilities on the route, is a relevant and not an extraneous consideration. It is true that 1977 model vehicle was available, with respondent No. 3 at the time of grant of permit, whereas the petitioner was about to receive a vehicle of that model, but it does not mean that by this distinction the petitioner would hot be entitled to any marks at all on the basis of the proposed new model of vehicle to be utilized on the route on grant of national permit. If the Tribunal considered that respondent No. 3 who was in possession of a 1977 model of the vehicle at the time of grant of permit could not be equated with the petitioner who had yet to receive a vehicle of that model and that on that account equal marks could not have been given to each of them, the Tribunal was free to decide as to the marks to which the petitioner was entitled in the circumstances of the case. But the Tribunal ignored all these factors and took a wrong view of the matter while setting aside the order of the Regional Transport Authority which could not be sustained.
8. In the result, the petition succeeds and is hereby allowed. The impugned order of the Tribunal dated 16-12-1981 (Annexure D) in so far as it relates to the cancellation of the permit granted to the petitioner by the Regional Transport Authority by its order dated 4-10-1977 is quashed and the case is sent back to the Tribunal to decide the appeal afresh as between respondent No. 3 Devhans Chourasia and the petitioner. There will be no order as to costs of this petition. Security amount be refunded to the petitioner.